William Blake – On Another’s Sorrow

One of the things I love most about Christian faith is the notion that God is both utterly transcendent and, precisely by that fact, utterly imminent. That is, he is both “beyond” us and so much “above the beyond” (as Gregory of Nyssa put it) that he is closer to…

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Why Become a Christian?

I’ve been doing a bit of reading lately for a possible doctoral research project having to do with the faith and practice of the early church. As such, my Amazon “recommended for you” is getting more interesting by the minute :). One of the really good books I’ve read on…

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Rumors of Resurrection

For all of the buildup to Easter in our churches, one of the curious things I have always noticed about the Gospels is how little they actually say about the resurrection. And what little they do say is, well, not quite what we may have anticipated. Chapter upon chapter leading…

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An Ash Wednesday Prayer

Ash Wednesday For the believer: Death has been transformed; from an enemy to a friend who helps us on the road to life   Christ has conquered and converted our longtime foe So that alienation is no longer part of its deadly elixir   In baptism: We are united with…

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Christianity and the Strengthening of the Emotional Life

I have a very complex (and often stormy!) emotional life. Laughter, tears, and deep longing… all of that can happen in the first 15 minutes of my day. It can be exhilarating… and exhausting. Over the years I have found that the life of self-discipline which Christianity entails is a…

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Entering Silence

What is the role of solitude and silence in our efforts to follow the living Christ who leads us by his Spirit into the future the Father dreams for us? For me, those twin disciplines have been indispensable. Through them, the Lord has–time and time again–enabled me to see what…

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O Come, Emmanuel // Our Advent Plea

I remember the first time I heard it, what has become my favorite Christmas song. My dad, who has a background in music and theater, delivered it as a special during a worship service in our church one December many years ago. He walked out onto the stage with no…

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Good Death

I sat beside the bedside of an 84 year old woman who is maybe days, perhaps even hours, away from her death. Dorothy is her name. I didn’t know her personally until yesterday. Her son attended our church in Denver and when his mom took a turn for the worst,…

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From Fixing to Following

There is a story told in the Sayings of the Desert Fathers. A group of old men came to see Abba Anthony, in the midst of whom was a man named Abba Joseph. Abba Anthony wanted to test them, so he suggested a text of Scripture and asked each one…

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